“If you like your horror fast and nasty, then take a ride with Johnny Gruesome. GRUESOME is a loving and intelligent tribute to the classic splatter films that set the pace for modern horror. With sharp writing and an eye for detail. Lamberson masterfully brings a nightmare to life. Bold and trashy in all the right ways, Johnny Gruesome is a book (and a villain) you won’t soon forget.”
~ Lee Thomas, Author of Parish Damned and The Dust of Wonderland
“Johnny Gruesome is a rarity: bright and clever descriptions, an elusive sense of humor, and high-level pacing. I wish I had written it.”
~ Herschell Gordon Lewis, The Godfather of Gore: Blood Feast and 2,000 Maniacs
“Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll are back, in the Death Mobile drivin’, leather jacket-clad corpse of Johnny Gruesome, a man who lives up to his name in every sense of the word. The reader is advised to put some Alice Cooper on high volume, crack open a can of beer and dive right in. Be forewarned, however, this is one ride through the hell of high school and the wince-inducing gore of undead vengeance you may have to take more than once. In Johnny Gruesome, horror has a new hero.”
~ Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Currency of Souls, The Turtle Boy, and The Hides
“Johnny Gruesome has a frightening sense of detail that makes it all the more horrific — it’s a gruesome ride that you can’t stop reading.”
~ Gunnar Hansen, “Leatherface” in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre
“Any way you slice things, it just doesn’t get any more gruesome than this. Greg Lamberson’s Johnny Gruesome is a rotting fetid romp of a novel that shows you a little of life post-mortem for your average teenage headbanger. A B-movie nightmare recreated with loving fan-boy zeal, I give it an “F” for fun, freaky and foul fucked-up funk.”
~ Steve Vernon Author of Hard Roads Gray Friar Press
“Greg Lamberson’s Johnny Gruesome is edgy, violent, supernaturally cool and the new undead king of quick-and-dirty horror. Johnny Gruesome spins the zombie genre into a fresh and ballsy hard-rock direction that just kills!”
~ Jonathan Maberry, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Ghost Road Blues and Dead Man's Song
“Johnny Gruesome has the potential to become an iconic horror character in the mold of such genre heavyweights as Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees. With a cinematic eye (what else can you expect from the man who directed such films as Slime City and Undying Love?), Gregory Lamberson gives us what could have been a great B-movie about revenge from beyond the grave, but which instead has been fleshed out and given richer life in the form of a novel. The result is a fun, compelling read with characters we care about.”
~ L. L. Soares
“Gregory Lamberson’s Johnny Gruesome isn’t just your old run of the mill zombie tale. It’s a smokin’ hot, sexy, rockin’ zombie adventure!”
~ Angeline Hawkes, Bram Stoker Award nominated Author of The Commandments
“Gregory Lamberson is a storyteller who knows how to spin a solid horror tale, and Johnny Gruesome is a delicious rotting slice of living dead horror, as American as apple pie à la mode and a strong cup of Joe at the diner of the dammed.
Lamberson delivers the goods here, folks; Gruesome lives up to its title, and Johnny himself is a character you won’t forget in a hurry. One of the most enjoyable scare-fests I’ve read this year.”
~ Philip Nutman, author of Wet Work, and co-screenwriter of Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door
"This homage to the splatter films of the 1980s...is a wild ride through the darker recesses of the reader's imagination.... Recommended to anyone who loves their horror hard, fast, and fun."
~ Dave Simms, Hellnotes
"Horror fans who loved over-the-top novels and slasher films of the 1980s will see their youthful favorites released from an uneasy grave with Johnny Gruesome. The killings are deliciously gory, the characters well developed and believable, and the pace is perfect."
"Here's one for the history books. A novel that not only combines the best of more than a half-dozen tropes in horror literature (ghosts, zombies, serial killers, unkillable slashers, revenge fantasy, etc.), but does it well.... This is top-down one of the best, most gripping, and most gruesome horror novels I've ever had the pleasure of reading.... I would recommend this novel to any horror fan, hands down.... There is no reason not to hold this book to your jaded, black, horror-soaked heart."
"Johnny is the kind of villain you find yourself rooting for; he's cool, nasty, and a smart-ass, and not in the way-too-many-bad-puns kind of way.... Does Johnny Gruesome deliver? Yes, yes it does. Johnny Gruesome rocks.... So if you're in the mood to put on your favorite Iron Maiden T-shirt and rock out to your favorite Metallica album in book form, then Johnny Gruesome is just your book."
~ Wil Keiper, Horror YearBook
4 out of 5…Bloody Daggers
“One of the things that sets this book apart from others that are out there is Lamberson’s fast-paced style, giving this novel the feeling of a demented pulp-noir read.… His realistic treatment of a walking corpse is refreshing.… By the end of the book, Gruesome is living up to his moniker, with pieces of his flesh falling off his bones and his own entrails leaking out about. Lamberson pulls no punches, and it makes for a compelling read.”
~ Dread Central
“What makes it all so enjoyable is the literary competence Lamberson brings to the proceedings.… The story is tight and flows along at a very quick pace.… His [Lamberson] sense of fun and the expert presentation make Johnny Gruesome a blast!”
~ Dark Scribe Magazine
“Johnny Gruesome never drags—even in those between-the-horror moments.… There are good people, bad people, and flawed people, oh, and there is one wicked, freakin’ monster named Johnny! It’s rare in Horror Thriller novels that you can actually find old school cool in a book, but Johnny Gruesome is a power pop hook on the printed page!”
~ E.C. McMullen Jr., FeoAmante.com
“Lamberson has the balance just right… This is a book that pushed all the right buttons—mostly with a bloody stump of a finger. Great stuff!”
~ L.E. Lester, Eternal Night
“. . . a good fit for those who like their horror the old-fashioned way.”
~Derek Clendening, Suite101.com (November 2008)
“. . . a gorehound’s wet dream comes true as blood, guts and brain-chunks burst forth by the bucketload.”
~ Gregory S. Burkart, FEARnet (November 2008)
Eric Carter held on to the edge of the indoor swimming pool, teeth chattering as the water chilled his bones. His shriveled testicles clung to his inner thighs for warmth, like leeches hungry for blood. Shouts and laughter echoed around him, the shrill voices of boys indistinguishable from those of girls, the steady motion of the bodies in the water creating a rhythmic tide against his slender back. Behind him the diving board sprang, its reverberation continuing through the deep splash that followed. He moved one hand over the other, his toes skimming the pool’s plaster bottom. Keeping his head above the water, he bobbed toward the pool’s midpoint like an astronaut on the surface of the moon. Shame burned his ears as underclassmen glided across the shallow end with the aid of kickboards. He had failed to swim the pool’s length at the start of the semester, and Coach Bell had assigned him to remedial lessons with the fourth graders, much to the delight of his fifth-grade classmates. Shivering, he turned in a half circle and surveyed the deep end of the pool. Coach Bell had designated the last ten minutes of class free time, and a cluster of students lined up at the diving board, their hair dripping and bodies glistening. A girl in a salmon-colored bikini and a rubber swimming cap stood at the board’s edge, pinching her nose. As she jackknifed off the board, Eric glimpsed Coach Bell outside his glass-enclosed corner office, chatting with Miss Calloway, the girls’ phys-ed teacher. With the swimming instructor preoccupied, Eric saw his opportunity. His chest swelled with determination. While some of his classmates swam laps on the opposite side of the pool, others played water polo in the deep end and splashed each other while treading water. As usual, nobody noticed him. His feet no longer touched bottom, and as he pulled himself around the aluminum ladder, he glanced up at the wooden bleachers. Johnny Grissom sat alone in the top row, clad in his usual ensemble: faded blue jeans, a black concert T-shirt, and dingo boots. His dark hair hung down to his shoulders, glazed eyes radiating boredom. Eric hadn’t seen the boy in the water all semester. Johnny’s eyes settled on him, and he turned rigid. Eric had never suffered Johnny’s legendary wrath because he’d always been smart enough to avoid him. Now he felt as if he had a large target on his chest, a feeling that increased when Johnny’s thin lips formed a smirk. Looking away, Eric focused on the deep end. Reflections of the overhead lights danced on the surface as water polo players propelled themselves forward with rubber flippers. Pressing the flats of his feet against the side of the pool, Eric imagined himself as Spider-Man, poised to leap from the top of a Manhattan skyscraper. Taking a deep breath, he launched himself forward, facedown. He sliced the water, cupping his hands and kicking his feet, chlorine burning his eyes. He turned his head, gulping air, and stroked the surface. I’m doing it! He couldn’t believe he had been so frightened by the prospect of swimming. What was the big deal? He never wanted to see a kickboard again. He paced himself, worried that his body would wear itself out before he reached his destination. As he turned his head to take a breath of oxygen, he saw the diving board ahead instead of the ladder. Somehow he had veered off to his right, away from the pool’s edge. He tried to right his course, but water shot into his mouth and down his throat. Coughing, he realized he had stopped moving and his legs swung beneath him. His head dipped beneath the surface, his outstretched fingers grasping at air. Water pressed against him on all sides, distorting the sounds above. Gazing at the rectangular light fixtures in the ceiling with panicked eyes, he kicked with all of his strength. His head broke the surface, the murky sounds of oblivious laughter clearing as water rushed from his ears. Reaching out in vain, trying to call for Coach Bell, he sank beneath the surface again, his heart hammering in his chest. He kicked his legs as if pedaling a bicycle and rose at a slower rate. This time, only his face broke the surface. Gasping, he flailed his arms, then sank again, lacking the strength to resurface. Mom! He descended into the cold blue world, his movements strained. A dozen legs kicked above him, too far away to reach. The flippers moved in slow motion as his heart sped up. His ears threatened to pop and his body convulsed. Drowning . . . Read more. . .